Location: Bio-oils Research Unit
Project Number: 3620-41000-158-00
Start Date: Aug 11, 2010
End Date: Aug 10, 2015
New crop development is critical to the future sustainability of United States (US) agriculture by reducing the farmer’s dependence on government subsidies for a select few commodity crops, and by supplementing our need for energy without decreasing food production (food and fuel). A series of new crops and off-season new crops will be developed for different growing regions within the US by developing industrial products and processes from these agricultural feedstocks. A collaborative effort to the development of Cuphea (PSR23), Lesquerella, Pennycress, Camelina, Meadowfoam (limnanthes), Coriander, and Euphorbia will occur: 1) Off-season germplasm development will be supported through developing analytical methods to rapidly analyze protein, oil and seed quality. Additionally, new crop germplasm resources will be surveyed and publically accessible databases generated; 2) Development of chemical and physical processes that enable the commercial production of new oilseed crops through the isolation of oils, meal, gums, and phytochemicals. Additionally, and most importantly, the new crop raw materials will be produced in pilot scale quantities. Utilization of native lipases located in both the defatted and whole seed will enhance in offsetting oil production costs; and, 3) Development of novel industrial chemicals and processes through organic synthesis based on new crop raw materials derived above. Products to be developed include biodegradable lubricants, bio-based viscosity modifiers, lubricant additives, cosmetics, oxidative products, and saturated medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Overall, this research will lead to the development of new oilseed crops which will diversify the US farm as well as expend our arsenal of industrial biofriendly chemicals.